An official says Somalia's defense minister has been kidnapped in Uganda's capital.

A Somali government spokesman says Defense Minister Yusuf Mohamed Siad was abducted Tuesday as he walked out of a mosque in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Calls to authorities in Uganda were not immediately returned.

Somalia is one of the most violent countries in the world. Its beleaguered government is struggling to contain a powerful and growing insurgency. Some 5,000 African Union peacekeepers keep watch over key government installations in the capital. But the insurgent group al-Shabab controls much of the rest of the country.